« PreviousContinue »
Removal to Lausanne.
the church is an object that lies even nearer your heart." Calvin's answer shows that Viret had not misjudged him: "So soon as Beza arrives," he writes, "I will use every exertion in order to influence him to comply with your wishes." But two days after this letter was received, Viret was sent to the council of Berne, under whose jurisdiction they were, with the request that they would give a favorable hearing to their representative in reference to the appointment of the two "brothers," Theodore Beza and Francis Hotoman, as teachers in the academy, the one of the Greek language, and the other of the Latin and eloquence. Viret was delighted with the favorable reception with which his request was met, and more so at the reception of a letter (Oct. 21st) from Calvin signifying Beza's willingness to make the attempt, although he thinks there is danger that his health will not be adequate to the burden. "For," says Calvin, "I hear that the boys are almost overburdened by the multitude of their lessons. If the relinquishment of the two hours after noon could be obtained of the council at Berne, the future teacher could more easily and better attend to the remainder." Yet with his usual disinterestedness he adds, neither myself nor Beza desires that the public welfare should be sacrificed for individual good.
Not long before Beza left eneva he wrote the Satire entitled: Brevis et utilis zoographia Joannis Cochlaei, and addressed to Conrad Gessner, who remembered Beza when a pupil of Wolmar at Bourges, and sent him a poetical welcome by Calvin on his return with Farel from Zurich. This was occasioned by a silly and ignorant attack upon Calvin by Cochlaeus, which, Beza thinks, renders it necessary that the learned world in future ages, should know that such a celebrated beast once lived: and as Gessner had written a History of Beasts, he directed his account to him, thinking that he might insert it in an appendix to that work.
Removal to Lausanne, and reception as Professor of Greek.
On the 6th of November, Beza bade adieu to Geneva, Calvin to his spiritual father and his friend Crispin, and was soon settled among the hills by the side of the beautiful Lake Leman. On the 25th of the same month Farel writes to Calvin, I heartily congratulate the city of Lausanne on account of its good fortune in the acquisition of Beza.' The people of the city itself had also sufficient appreciation of his
Those who have the curiosity to look at this second of the publications of Beza, will find it entire in the App. to the first Vol. of Baum's Life of Beza.
VOL. VII. No. 27.
worth to give him a warm reception. We have already seen that it cost Beza no little struggle to take upon himself the responsibilities of the station. So sensitive and conscientious was he in reference to his past errors, especially in regard to his poems which were scattered about everywhere, that he would not formally enter upon his duties as teacher of Greek, before he had submitted to his colleagues a full explanation in regard to them, and requested them to decide whether they were a valid objection to his connection with a Christian school. This frank and humble course was so pleasing to all, that they unanimously decided, that as this volume was published before he renounced popery, it should be no obstacle either in their or his way. He was accordingly formally inducted into office, by taking the customary political and religious oath1 and subscribing his name thereto.
Nine years was Beza united in the closest bonds of fraternity and intercourse with the colleagues to whom he now joined himself. Those who are familiar with the life of John Calvin, will recollect that the patriarch of this little band, was the excellent Maturin Cordier, who had been the teacher of the Genevan reformer, and who in turn had dedicated to him his Commentary on the Epistle to the Thessalonians. This man though now seventy years old, when Beza went to Lausanne, was as active in mind and fresh in spirit as those who were his juniors in age. He was, says Baum, a true type of a schoolman who had devoted his whole life to the instruction of youth in Latin; and they in turn were sincerely attached to him. "Good Latin and good habits" was his motto in school, and barbarisms and solecisms were the only proper heresies in his opinion; although he was at heart both a friend to man and reverent toward God. Others of the fraternity we should like to introduce to our readers, but must refer them to more extended biographies of the Greek professor.
The school at Lausanne under the care of those possessed of so much zeal and learning, soon gained celebrity, and youth flocked there from different parts of Switzerland, both to attend to the usual school studies and to the French language. The fame of Beza was soon noised abroad, and early in the year after his settlement in Lausanne, Gessner, the most distinguished man of the church of Zurich, sent him a letter expressing his great joy at his present position, and his confidence in him, notwithstanding the severity of his satire against Cochlaeus. He also became known to Peter Paul Vergerius, previously papal nuncio, and bishop of Istria, but at this time, preacher to a reformed church in the country of the Grisons, and through Bullinger,
The form of the oath may be found in Baum's Beza, S. 132.
Residence at Lausanne.
had received a letter from him. His first letter to Bullinger exhibits so well the warmth of his feelings and especially his regard for the leaders of the reformation in Switzerland, that I cannot withhold a rather long extract from it: "Now I know," he says (March 14, 1550), "that that is true, which the Lord has promised his followers, that not even a drink of cold water given by them shall be unrewarded, for I know of nothing smaller, to which I may compare the very little that I have hitherto done for the church of God; and yet, I have reaped the richest fruit from it, namely, your friendship, which I value so highly that I would not exchange it for the treasures of all kings. Your distinguished condescension and kindness is conspicuous, in that you not only receive a man of so little consideration with so much affection, but also of your own free will, honor him with your correspondence. And what now shall I offer in recompense? That indeed, I think, which I have already offered without your perceiving it, myself, all that I am and have. Formerly, to wit, when I, in my own unfortunate country, read some of your Christian writings and those of others, and with a sigh said to myself: Alas! how much longer shall I wallow in the filth of popery? When shall I hear all those truly pious men with my own ears, enjoy their society, confess with them the true faith before the God of heaven and earth, and joyfully finish the course of this troublesome life? These at that time silent wishes, He has to a good degree vouchsafed, who gave the thoughts. First he sent to me the grace of which I might always boast, that I preferred the cross to native land and all riches; then he sent to me the friendship — of what men?-of Calvin, Viret, Musculus, Haller. When I recollect that I enjoy the friendship of such men, I feel not only that I do not live amid the privations of banishment, but that I must with Themistocles exclaim: I had been lost, if I had not suffered loss.' But since I now perceive that I am not only known, but also am dear to you, which my unworthiness scarcely allowed me to hope, I have truly received more than I anticipated."
The deepening interest of Beza in his work and in the success of the cause for which he had embarked, as well as the deplorable state of the church, is exhibited in a subsequent part of the same letter: "In respect to the Council of Trent, the Romish Antichrist has not deceived our expectations, but I know full well that his hopes will prove futile. The Lord will surely sustain his church. In the mean time, I am ashamed when I compare our remissness with the activity and watchfulness of our opponents, and I must freely express to you my feelings. I regret much in our church, but especially desire at the present time when our enemies unite and conspire together, that
representatives chosen from the clergy of the several Helvetic and neighboring churches would assemble and consult together in accordance with the word of God, in reference to church discipline, now at an end, and the threatening perils which surround us. I wish that for once at least, we might follow the example of the Ninevites. All, even the blind, see that the anger of God is enkindled against us. All lament the misfortunes of the church, but only a very few seek to avert the anger of God. No one is warned by the punishment of his neighbor. The magistrate believes that he has wholly performed his duty when he has issued certain orders. In vain the clergy zealously lift up a warning voice, since public scandal is entirely overlooked, or not punished with the rigidity which the irreligion of the people deserves. Zeal for the Lord has grown cold. Here at least the ordinances of the princes are openly violated with impunity. Drunkenness, blasphemy and lewdness are common. Few attend the churches, so that I may say in short, that the circumstances of the church are pitiable. I know how much your authority avails in both republics (Berne and Zurich) with most of the magistrates, therefore I beseech you by the Lord Jesus Christ, whom we all serve, that you exert your influence in favor of the common cause of the church in common peril. These are the things, most excellent father, which I wished to write you, and perhaps I have been too presumptuous in doing it; but if you do not approve of my counsel, you will I doubt not accept my good intentions, and my good will to you."1
The heterogeneous mass of the reformed community of Lausanne, has been previously noticed. As we might suppose, they were united more by opposition to the existing religious domination and by their common privations and voluntary expatriation, than by any strong attachment, or even accurate knowledge of the true faith. Beza, sensible of this, soon applied himself to their instruction. After he had completed the duties of the day in the Gymnasium, he called together his countrymen, and explained to them in French, practically and yet methodically and thoroughly the Epistle to the Romans. He chose this epistle as containing the ground principles of apostolic teaching, and after he had gone through with it, he took up in the same manner the two Epistles of Peter. These explanations of the Scripture in which Beza undoubtedly derived much aid from the Commentary of Calvin, led him to a thorough study of the original text which laid the foundation for his later exegetical and critical expositions of the New Testament, which continued to be a favorite occupation until old age,
1 S. 134 sq
Theology of the Intellect and of the Feelings.
and which contributed not more to his reputation than to the profit of the church and theological science. His earnest piety and powerful eloquence, united with a fascinating manner, now had an opportunity for full exertion. We, for the present, take leave of Beza, surrounded by his pupils and the listeners to his expositions of the word of life. His private study too is not neglected, and as we may at some subsequent time see, he is not wholly deserted by the Muses. can easily imagine that the Catholic biographer of Calvin1 is not at all partial when he says of his first labors at Lausanne: "The professor met with brilliant success; they flocked to attend his lectures from Berne, Fryburg and even from Germany. His language was well condensed and very correct. Those who listened to him imagined themselves hearing Melanchthon. He had,' they said 'the harmonious and copious style of Luther's disciple, but more warmly colored."
THE THEOLOGY OF THE INTELLECT AND THAT OF THE FEELINGS.
A Discourse delivered before the Convention of the Congregational Ministers of Massachusetts, in Brattle Street Meeting-house, Boston, May 30, 1850, by Edwards K. Park, Professor in Andover Theological Seminary.
THE STRENGTH OF ISRAEL WILL NOT LIE NOR REPENT: FOR HE IS Not a MAN THAT HE SHOULD REPENT.-1 SAM. 15: 29.
AND IT REPENTED THE LORD THAT HE HAD MADE MAN ON THE EARTH, AND IT GRIEVED HIM AT HIS HEART.-GEN. 6: 6.
I HAVE heard of a father who endeavored to teach his children a system of astronomy in precise philosophical language, and although he uttered nothing but the truth, they learned from him nothing but
'J. M. V. Audin, p. 464.
* When the author began to prepare the ensuing discourse, he intended to avoid all trains of remark adverse to the doctrinal views of any party or school belonging to the Convention. But, contrary to his anticipations, he was led into a course of thought which he was aware that some clergymen of Massachusetts would not adopt as their own, and for the utterance of which he was obliged to rely on their liberal and generous feeling. Although it is in bad taste for a preacher on such an occasion, to take any undue advantage of the kindness of his hearers, yet perhaps it is not dishonorable for him, confiding in their proverbial charity, to venture on the free expression of thoughts which he cannot repress without an injurious constraint upon himself.